An integral feature of The Wanderer, and what sets it apart from other magazines, is that many of the stories are written by you – the members and readers.
In the short time I’ve been working on the magazine, I’ve received numerous emails from members commenting on how much they enjoy reading other members’ stories. So whether it’s a yarn about your latest trip, your favourite holiday destination, a DIY fi x, a great local event you’ve attended, or a rundown of your rig and some of the mods and improvements you’ve made, other members are genuinely interested in hearing your story.
Reading about the real life adventures of fellow members is inspiring, and can also help provide solutions to technical problems, tips on trip planning, or information on which route to take and where to stay along the way.
We are always looking for new stories and member submissions, but we also understand it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. So here are some suggestions that might help when you next put pen to paper (or more correctly, fingers to keyboard!)
Your unique holiday experiences can be turned into inspiring stories
When it comes to planning your story, pick the highlights of your trip and focus on these. There’s no need to include every last detail in chronological order. Pick some specific anecdotes to share, whether it’s a funny incident or an encounter with a local character along the way.
Choosing an interesting anecdote is a great way to start your story and hooks readers in straight away. Don’t feel like you have to start your story at the beginning of the trip, either!
SET THE SCENE
After you’ve got your readers hooked, then set the scene. Outline where you were, what you were doing there, and why you chose to go there. It’s also a good time to tell us a bit about the main character – yourself! How long have you been on the road, who are you travelling with, what is your rig and what’s your travel style?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Write from your perspective, in first person. Include facts, descriptions and personal observations. What facilities were available at that campsite you enjoyed so much that you decided to stay a week? What could you see and hear when you stepped outside your RV? And what was your favourite thing about the place?
ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE
Think about what will hold the readers’ interest, and what facts and details are important to include. For example, if you’re writing about a town you visited, where is the best coffee? Which bakery makes the best pies? And what did you enjoy most about the town?
It might not be the main tourist attraction, but that’s what makes your story way more interesting and relevant than reading a tourist brochure.
Describing what a place was like, the type of foliage, the colours of the earth, the smell, the temperature, the people or wildlife you saw, can all help to paint a picture about the place. The imagery that you create] through your story helps to captivate your readers and keep their interest throughout.
Keep a basic structure in mind while you’re writing – it can be as simple as a beginning, middle and end (or an introduction, body and conclusion).
After you’ve set the scene, shared your anecdotes and information, finish up your narrative with a concluding point – whatever that may be. If you’re writing about your ‘big lap’, it might be a brief reflection on what made this particular trip so special, or some key learnings that you’ll take on board when planning your next adventure.
INSPIRING TRAVEL - Top tips for enhancing your story through imagery.
We want to share with other readers just how great this lifestyle is and the many perks of life on the road. You don’t have to have the most expensive camera and all the latest gear to get great shots, either!
When you send in your story, try to include a variety of photos: pictures of your campsite, your rig on the road, your partner or family enjoying themselves along the way, landscapes, and a photo of each of the great spots you mention in your story.
Include photos of people – you, your partner, your family, your new campground friends – enjoying themselves. It’s always inspiring to see people having fun exploring new places or relaxing at camp. And (almost) everyone loves to see a photo of themselves in print!
If you have the gear, use a wide-angle lens to capture the majesty of the vista. Keep horizons straight and include something in the foreground for scale. Shoot at sunrise and sunset for the best light.
Get some photos of your entire campsite and include people where you can. Try to include an attractive feature of the campsite – it may be a river running beside it, a beautiful tree that’s shading your rig, or even the stars at night.
ON THE ROAD
Get some pictures of your rig, either driving along a road or parked somewhere scenic with a landmark in the frame. As an RV club, we all share a common interest in the RV lifestyle and RVs themselves, so it’s great to incorporate your rig into your story.
NATURE AND WILDLIFE
These shots can be hard to get without a good zoom lens to get up close and personal with the subject. However, if you can get them, it can be a nice addition to your story and a good way of showcasing the diversity of wildlife you see as you travel around.
ENHANCE COLOUR WITH A POLARISER
If there is one piece of equipment that will improve your outdoor photography more than any, it’s a polarising filter. For as little as $50, this piece of glass (which attaches to the end of your lens) will transform the vibrancy of your photos. If the sun is out, a polariser is essential for capturing vivid blue skies; without one, your images might look washed out and lacking in colour.
You can see the difference a polarising filter makes in the photos pictured. The photo below was taken without a polarising filter, while a filter was used for the photo on the right.
CREATE INTERESTING COMPOSITIONS
‘The Rule of Thirds’ is a simple composition principle that will help you take a better balanced and more interesting photograph.
When looking through the viewfinder, imagine breaking the scene down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. By placing your subject on these lines, it will make your photograph appear more natural compared to a photograph where the subject is in the middle of the frame.
GET DOWN LOW
While the Rule of Thirds is a great basic principle of composition, some of the most interesting images are created by experimenting.
Explore unusual compositions by putting your camera on the ground and angling it up towards your subject. These unusual angles can reward you with a photograph that is totally unique!
LOOK BEHIND YOU
Photographing a sunrise or sunset is always stunning but, as a photographer, it is easy to be fixated on the sun’s glow at the horizon while the real magic is happening behind you!
At dusk or dawn, the sky that is opposite to the sun is where the most interesting transformations are happening. Pastel pinks and blues fill the sky, while the first hint of sunlight creates a warm glow over the landscape. This is where you want to be pointing your camera, not at the glaring sunset.
PHOTOGRAPH AFTER IT RAINS
Have you ever noticed how the bush changes after heavy rain? This is an ideal time to grab your camera and go for a walk.
Pay attention to the transformations that occur in nature when saturated by rainfall. Get up close to leaves and tree trunks to capture the increased intensity of colour and contrast.
PUT PEOPLE IN THE FRAME
To give your landscape photographs a sense of scale, it’s always nice to include a person or object in the foreground of the frame. This technique will give your photographs some added life while also helping to demonstrate just how steep or how high you are at a lookout.
ZOOM IN CLOSE
A great effect for taking action photographs is to use the full length of the zoom to get up close to the subject. This technique is great for capturing a subject that you want to stand out from the background.
OBSERVE THE QUALITY OF LIGHT
Light is the most important thing about photography, so it really helps to be constantly observing the changing quality of natural light around you.
If taking photos of people, try to avoid direct sun on their faces, which can create harsh shadows and lots of squinting.
FILL THE SHADOWS WITH A FLASH
If your camera has a pop up flash, you may be surprised to learn that the best time to use it is when it’s the most sunny!
As mentioned before, direct sun creates harsh shadows on people’s faces, especially if they are wearing a hat. So use your camera’s flash to fill in the shadows created by the sun.
USE YOUR SMARTPHONE
They say that the best camera to have is the one that’s with you all the time. Carrying around a heavy DSLR camera all the time might well make the most of every photographic opportunity. But we all know that is not always practical.
Luckily, advancements in image sensor technology means that your average modern smartphone can produce relatively good results. So don’t be afraid to practice these techniques on your phone’s camera. After all, it’s these photos that are the easiest to share with your friends and family on social media sites.
Tags: The Wanderer Story Image Photo Photography Travel Inspiration Holiday RV Motorhome Campervan Caravan Journey
Written: Sat 01 Apr 2017
Printed: April, 2017